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Tours & Cruises

American History 101 at Mt. Rushmore


See a portion of historic America on a trip that features Mt. Rushmore National Memorial and Yellowstone National Park on Sept. 7 to 18. Two days of sightseeing in the Black Hills of South Dakota include Crazy Horse Monument, Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood, location of Mt. Moriah Cemetery, final resting place of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane.

In Wyoming, participants visit Devil's Tower National Monument and the Buffalo Bill Museum. Guests stay overnight in Yellowstone National Park and take a daylong tour of the park. They will also stay in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Cost: $975 per person, double occupancy, including motor-coach transportation, accommodations, most meals and tours. Contact: Main Street Tours, 1751 W. Torrance Blvd. Suite N, Torrance, CA 90501; telephone (800) 300-MAIN.

Eco-Cruise Belize

Temptress Voyages is offering weekly three- and six-night cruises aboard the 63-passenger Voyager off the coast of Belize beginning Nov. 2.

The 173-foot-long vessel is small enough to maneuver through the shallow waters between Belize's coast and the 185-mile-long barrier coral reef offshore, allowing passengers access to several of the 200 offshore cays (tiny islands) good for snorkeling. The ship also offers opportunities for sea kayaking and scuba diving.

Rubber zodiacs ferry passengers to a variety of daily land excursions, led by on-board naturalists and a local guide, that include rain forest walks, cave explorations, manatee-, monkey- and bird-watching, and home visits with Mayans. Cabins on board are air-conditioned.

Cost: $695-$795 double ($350-$545 child), depending on the season, for the three-night voyage; $1,290-$1,695 double ($500-$945 child), depending on the season, for the six-night voyage. Cost includes all meals, land excursions and water activities, excluding scuba equipment rental and scuba instruction (fins, masks and snorkels are free). Air fare is not included.

Contact: Temptress Adventures, 1600 N.W. LeJeune Road, Suite 301, Miami, FL 33126; tel. (800) 336-8423.

Indonesia's Intrigue

An adventure trip to Indonesia to see Sumatra, Nias Island, Java and Bali leaves Los Angeles on Oct. 5 and returns Oct. 21. Participants visit Medan, Gunong Sitolis, Brastagi, Lake Toba, Padangsidempuan, Bukittinggi, Padang, Yogyakarta, Borobudur and Denpasar.

The group will see a traditional stone-jumping demonstration, native dance performances, ancient megaliths monuments and enjoy the scenery of the charming Minangkabau highlands.

Cost: $3,895 per person, double occupancy, including air fare, hotels, sightseeing, tours, meals and guides. Contact: Select Tours International, P.O. Box 210, Redondo Beach, CA 90277; tel. (310) 374-0880; outside California, tel. (800) 356-6680.

Peak of Adventure

Join Geographic Adventures' to Nepal on a three-week trekking circuit of Manaslu, the world's eighth highest mountain at 26,658 feet, which is one of the last peaks of the Himalayas opened to trekking.

The trek, which departs the U.S. on Oct. 19 and returns Nov. 18, will take Geographic's clients from the warm Himalayan foothills north into the high expanses of the Tibetan borderlands. Hikers cross the 15,000-foot Rupina Pass and get views of Manaslu's inner valleys.

Cost: $2,995 per person, double occupancy, including four nights at Katmandu's five-star Yak & Yeti hotel, guided city tours and all services on trek, including Sherpa guides and porters to carry the gear, set up camps and cook. Air fare is not included. Contact: Geographic Expeditions, 2627 Lombard St., San Francisco, CA 94123; tel. (800) 777-8183.

Down Under

Explore New Zealand with a stop that includes Sydney, Australia, on a cruise/tour that leaves Los Angeles Jan. 31 and returns Feb. 15. The trip begins with two nights in Auckland, New Zealand, and includes a sightseeing tour.

Travelers then fly to Christchurch, New Zealand, for a one-night stay and a sightseeing tour. There the group boards the cruise ship Marco Polo, and stops are made at Dunedin, the Art Deco city of Napier, and Tauranga, gateway to the Maori homeland of Rotorua, noted for its thermal hot springs and parks with unusual geological formations. The group will visit the scenic wonders of Milford Sound and Dusky Sound, and have an opportunity for an optional excursion overnight to Queenstown. Marlborough Sounds are seen and lead to the picturesque harbor of Picton.

Guests attend a Maori dance performance, seminars on the history and geology of New Zealand, and a wine-tasting party. After the cruise, the group will fly to Sydney, Australia, and spend three nights touring the landmark Opera House and its museums and cafes.

Cost: from $2,425 per person, double occupancy, including air transportation from Los Angeles, accommodations, some meals and tours. An airline extension of a maximum of one month is also available.

Contact: Lenore Howell, Let's Go Exploring, 12653 Plaza Menta, San Diego, CA 92128; tel. (619) 487-8316 or, outside San Diego County, (800) 585-1043.

Culinary France

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